Luck Dinners at Tyranena Brewing Co.
Lake Mills, Wisconsin
a craft beer twist on a neighborly Midwestern tradition: Tyranena
Brewing Co. offers a "hopluck" dinner at the tasting room.
Just bring a covered dish to pass and you'll get a free pint to sip
- the only catch is the cook has to make the dish "legendary"
by incorporating one of Tyranena's brews as an ingredient.
with more than 9 brews on tap at Tyranena's tasting room, and growlers
to go priced at $6.50, this is not a difficult task.
calls its brews "legendary" because it is based in one of
the sacred places of Wisconsin - Lake Mills is a village where folklore
and Indian tales give new meaning to local flavor. For example, the
Bitter Woman IPA is named after a jilted sweetheart of the poet Longfellow;
her bitterness increased over the decades along with his fame. Shantytown
Doppelbock gets its moniker from the huts used for winter ice fishing
that line Rock Lake, while the Blackhawk Porter is named after an
Indian chief (pictured, hovering over the taps, at right).
think the hospitality at Tyranena's tasting room deserves to be legendary,
the few smoke-free tasting rooms in the state, it is a family friendly
environment, with an outdoor beer garden, grills set up for BBQ, and
gorgeous landscaping with golden Aureus hops vines to set the mood.
When I stopped in, there were several families already seated, with
Scrabble games underway to amuse the young guests.
included a spicy tofu and veggie kabob glazed with a peanut ale sauce
served over rice; hot potatoes cooked with Maibock; brown ale beer
bread and others. Several standouts were the moist Brown Ale Marinated
smoked turkey brought by Pam and Karl Vonderhohe, as well as Teri
Nelson's drunken cabbage loaded with bacon, caraway, onions and "all
the things you'd like to taste in a cabbage dish," according
to beercook Nelson.
also loved the grilled Bacon-wrapped Fiery Shrimp from beercook and
homebrewer Kerri Canepa, who marinated the large shrimp in Vietnamese
chili paste and the Bitter Woman IPA.
Carlson , who handles both marketing and some brewing tasks at Tyranena,
came up with the concept. "I did some searching on the web and
no one had done this before at a microbrewery," Grant says. "It
was a little brainchild of mine that people seem to really enjoy and
I have called it our HopluckT Dinner. The quality of the food and
the adventurousness of the participant's choices have been impressive.
At our last HopluckT Dinner we had everything from a Bitter Woman
IPA Vindaloo and Spicy Peanut Soup to a "kicked up" crusted Chicken
w/ Fiery Fighting Finches Mai Bock Sauce and a Stout Sauerkraut Chocolate
30-barrel brewhouse (made by Sprinkmann) produced about 1200 barrels
of beer last year, and production will increase by another 40 percent
this year, Grant predicts. Distribution is in Wisconsin only - from
Rhinelander to the north to Milwaukee to the east and LaCrosse to
the west. "Our company growth is based on our own beer sales,"
Grant says, "because our owner and head brewer Rob Larson wants
to focus on building up our year-round products." There are now
five bottled brands in distribution: Ancient Aztalan Brown Ale, Stone
Tepee Pale Ale, Headless Man Amber Alt, Blackhawk Porter and Bitter
Woman IPA. Seasonals include a marzen Oktoberfest, black stout, honey
wheat ale, maibock and doppelbock.
about all the Hopluck dinner participants hoisted their brews in the
specially made stone mugs produced at a Cambridge, WI wood-fired pottery
studio. "Each year, Larson gets a different design made, and
we get to take our mugs home," explained a guest. I took home
a growler instead - and felt lucky to have had the Hop Luck experience
the newsletter, here's the deal: Here is our "Hopluck Dinner" in a
nutshell. The Hopluck Dinner is a fun and creative twist on a traditional
potluck dinner. You bring a favorite dish to share with the masses
or at least a few fellow beer lovers. All we ask is that you make
your dish "Legendary" by using Tyranena beer as an ingredient. We
supply the dishware, eating utensils and ambiance. Hopluck Dinners
are held on the second Thursday of each month, they begin at 6:30
p.m and go till the food is gone. E-mail our Beer Ambassador with
any questions at firstname.lastname@example.org, Tyranena Brewing Co., 1025 Owen
Street Lake Mills, Wisconsin, 53551 Telephone: (920) 648-8699